FAA adding EVAS to its entire fleet
by Gordon Gilbert
For years, the marketers of the Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS) have been asking the FAA to require the product. They argue that it is already STCï¿½d and installed on a number of business and airline aircraft, and the FAA accepts that it is the only product designed to provide pilots with a means of seeing vital instruments and out the windshield in the event of ï¿½continuousï¿½ smoke in the cockpit.
Now, in an interesting twist, the FAA has ordered EVAS for dual installations in all 50 of its corporate, R&D, training and flight inspection aircraft (at about $28,000 per installation). All the installations, with the exception of the agencyï¿½s Convair CV-580s, are STCï¿½d.
But while the FAA sees the need to make EVAS required safety equipment on its own aircraft, it still has no plans to issue regulations proposing that its installation be required on business or commercial aircraft. Current regulations require that an aircraft manufacturer show only that ï¿½temporaryï¿½ smoke can be evacuated within three minutes after the smoke source is turned off so pilots can discern their instruments.
Despite the FAAï¿½s steadfast reluctance to require EVAS, EVAS Worldwide, the Ramsey, N.J. company that markets the Emergency Vision Assurance System, continues to publish literature that provides a description of smoke-in-the-cockpit incidents as well as a history of the interaction between the FAA and Congress over the issue of smoke-in-the-cockpit regulations.
EVAS is certified in more than 30 aircraft models, and the company said it has delivered more than 2,000 EVAS units. STCs are required for EVAS when used in Part 135 operations.
Just wanted to thank the aviation safety group that sent this article. The irony!
Amazing... isn't it?
I had enough questions when I first learned Air Force One was stripped of Kapton wiring years ago, but now the faa has chosen EVAS for 50 (all) of their corporate, R&D a/c, but not the rest of us who fly in commercial a/c?
Astonishing (to me anyway)how they <apparently> can't see their way clear to mandate this system in the commercial realm in order to enhance safety for the flying public as well. They must believe in EVAS, or they wouldn't have certified it in the first place, let alone have taken the steps this article mentions, correct?
Then again, there have been instances when "a few things" have been known to slip through the cracks - when it comes to faa certification/oversight practices, so I just can't be completely certin (sarcasm should be duly noted).
I had the fortune (or misfortune, depending on one's perspective) to take part in an EVAS demonstration several years ago while I was in Washington DC on business. I learned FIRST HAND how VITAL this system is. It was one very difficult experience to endure - even knowing I did have the ability to escape unharmed (physically, that is). I wasn't about to praise a system I didn't have first hand knowledge of, therefore..I had no other choice but to take part in this demonstration (otherwise, I certainly would never have opted to experience what it's like to be sitting in a cockpit full of dense/continuous smoke, I can assure you).
IASA cannot (and never does) promote any one specific system - because our Bylaws don't allow us to do that, but I can and will tell you ANY system such as EVAS SHOULD be mandated for any/all commercial a/c - but that's just my humble opinion, of course.
swissair's previous history of a smoke in the cockpit issue(with horrendous consequences)prior to the crash of swissair Flight 111 - should have had them scrambling to install this system, or a similar system, on every one of their a/c. History proves where their dollars (francs) would have been far better spent.
Sometimes,(actually? MANY times)I find myself shaking my head wondering:
Just who IS minding the aviation safety "store" for all the rest of us?
Maybe it's just me, but...
Lyn S. Romano
IASA/US (International Aviation Safety Assoc.)
Wife of Raymond M. Romano
Passenger on swissair Flight 111
A post on an aviation site claims that Canada's Prime Minister's 6 VIP jets will soon have EVAS but the military will not be getting it.
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